The fusion of Chinese and Ugandans in a Tai Chi performance here on Sunday at the Chinese New Year celebration was a sign of the deepening people-to-people ties between the two countries.
Thousands of Ugandans and the Chinese community thronged Kololo Independence Grounds in the Ugandan capital of Kampala for a “temple fair,” a traditional cultural event that features all kinds of Chinese folk art, followed by a gala evening, to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Dragon, with the Spring Festival falling on Feb. 10 this year.
Lion dances and creative performances combining Ugandan and Chinese cultural elements dazzled the audience. The aroma of Chinese cuisine and other exotic dishes filled the place.
Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Zhang Lizhong said the Spring Festival is the most important traditional holiday in Chinese culture, featuring family reunions and good wishes for the coming year. “It not only bears the ideas of Chinese civilization of peace and harmony but also carries the common values of humanity such as harmonious family, social inclusion, and sound relationship between man and nature.”
He called on the Chinese expatriates in Uganda to “actively fulfill corporate social responsibilities and effectively promote the people-to-people friendship between China and Africa.”
Henry Okello Oryem, Uganda’s minister of state for international affairs, said Africa has a special historical relationship with China, which played a crucial role in helping southern Africa, in particular, to fight colonialism.
He said China has financed the construction of major transportation and energy infrastructure projects, which has promoted his country’s industrialization as well as social and economic growth.
Bruno Ruganzu, a Ugandan visual artist, told Xinhua that artistic activities such as painting and cultural performances are important in promoting understanding among different peoples.
“There is a special relationship between Uganda and China, and art is a way to bridge the gap. Art goes beyond language and culture; art is being who we are. By knowing who you are, you can bridge the gap and understand our differences and similarities for the harmony of the universe,” Ruganzu said.
Magnus Bruun Rasmussen, a Dutch citizen living in Uganda, brought his whole family to the carnival. “It is a great pleasure to come here and visit this festival and experience the culture of China in Uganda. It is a good opportunity to see the exchange of culture between two great nations. We need to know each other’s history; we need to know where we come from and what we bring,” said Rasmussen.
The all-day event was jointly organized by the Chinese Embassy, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and the Federation of Chinese Associations in Uganda. Chinese companies also exhibited their products and services, ranging from heavy machinery to traditional cuisines.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Uganda.